Who is Sean Patrick O’Malley?

Sean Patrick O’Malley is an American cardinal 
serving as the Archbishop of Boston under the Catholic Church and is a member 
of the Capuchins. He was considered to be Pope Benedict XVI’s successor before 
Pope Francis was chosen.

He was born on June 29th, 1944 
in Lakewood, Ohio but grew up in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania. He joined St. 
Fidelis Minor Seminary, a boarding school at age 12 where he graduated and went 
on to attend Capuchin College and the Catholic University of America where he 
graduated with a master’s degree in Religious Education and a doctorate in 
Spanish and Portuguese literature. O’ Malley was ordained priest in 1970 and consecrated in 
1984 by Bishop Harper.

Some of his work include:
O’Malley started the first Spanish newspaper 
in D.C. called El Pregonero, and also opened a 
Spanish bookstore in the same area.

He was made the Episcopal vicar of the 
Portuguese and Haitian communities in 1978. The vicar was later knighted in the 
Order of Infante D. Henrique by Portugal in 1985 for his service to the 
Portuguese. In 1985, O’Malley succeeded Bishop Edward John Harper as the Bishop 
of Saint Thomas after Harper resigned. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta 
named him an honorary chaplain due to his service to the homeless people and 
people living with AIDS.

In June 1992 he was appointed Bishop of 
Fall River, Massachusetts. The bishop was later appointed Bishop of Palm Beach, 
Florida. In both places, Bishop O’Malley tried to settle sexual abuse scandals, 
thus earning the name “fixer.” He succeeded Cardinal Bernal Law, the Archbishop 
of Boston in 2003, who resigned following sexual abuse scandals.

O’Malley is the cardinal-priest of Santa 
Maria Della Vitoria. He is also a member of both the Congregation for 
Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and Congregation 
for the Clergy. Also, he is a member of the Presidential Council of the 
Pontifical Council for the Family.

He is the first cardinal to have his 
 blog and offers regular podcasts. O’Malley can participate in 
future papal conclaves up until his 80th birthday.

His views
O’Malley received criticism from conservative Catholics 
when he participated in the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy who was a supporter 
of legal abortions. He has settled over 101 sexual abuse cases and has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse. In 2006, O’Malley and leaders of Catholic 
charities of Boston, a charity that offered adoption services program, ended 
their adoption program after failing to get exempted from the state’s anti-discrimination statute that required them to place children in the care of 
homosexual couples.

In 2016, he was awarded the Grand Cross of 
the Order of Prince Henry, Portugal.